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WritingFix...Journals...Mr. Stick's Looking for Threesomes
 

A Mr. Stick Journal Assignment from WritingFix
Corbett Harrison shares his Journal & Notebook Materials

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This on-line write-up was posted by WritingFix Webmaster Corbett Harrison, who invites you to visit his personal website, where he features dozens and dozens of his favorite lessons and resources from his classroom.

Mr. Stick's
Looking for Threesomes


Task Overview:

Story-tellers know the secret of the threesome. Three bears. Three pigs. Three billy goats gruff. This isn't an accident, which is what I taught my students. This is a mnemonic device used for centuries.

In ancient times, stories were passed on orally. Great story-tellers often weren't even literate...or perhaps blind (like Homer). Story segments are often neatly broken into three obvious chunks or parts, because that assisted story-tellers in memorizing. Modern day story-tellers still borrow this ancient technique. If you look at Jan Brett's Daisy Comes Home (which has a great lesson here at WritingFix that studies one of its threesomes), you can see a threesome in the middle of the book as she floats past three different animals as part of her adventures.

I wanted my kids to look for chunks of three in our stories. When there was an obvious example, I made my kids put it in their journals that way.

Set the Stage:

What I say when assigning this: "Good things happen in threes. Bad things too. That's what they say anyway.

"Your task today is to find how what we're reading (or reviewing) has been broken into three parts. The journal page summary you set up--which needs both words and Mr. Stick's presence--needs to show an obvious division of the three parts you have identified.

"As always, I don't want to see any proper names mis-spelled."

My Example:

One of my tenth graders--Jenn E.--while reviewing the complete story, The Odyssey, found this three-way, which she then captured on this journal page in summary form. I particularly like the stick monster, Scylla. My students had a wonderful time with stick-man versions of both monsters and animals. If you click on the image below, you can view it larger so you can print it on an 8.5" x 11" page.

I'm Looking for more Samples:

If you use this Mr. Stick journal task with your students (grades 4-12) and end up with an example that you believe I can feature here, please contact me at corbett@corbettharrison.com. I am especially looking for samples on topics other than mythology! If you photograph/scan a journal page that I end up featuring here, I will send you one of the NNWP's Print Publications as my way of saying "Thanks!"

 


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